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Germany boosts G8 border controls

The Palazzo Ducale where the G8 talks will be held
The Palazzo Ducale where the G8 talks will be held  


MUNICH, Germany -- Traffic controls have been stepped up in Germany to prevent anti-globalisation protesters from travelling to a G8 conference.

Security is being increased on road and rail links heading south and at airports with flights to southern Europe to stop known protesters from reaching the Italian summit venue.

In Genoa, police are gearing up for violent protests similar to those that have dogged international conferences over the last few years from Seattle to Prague.

On Monday a police officer was injured in Genoa when a letter bomb handed in at a police station exploded.

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Authorities in Italy are preparing to deal with an expected 120,000 anti-globalisation demonstrators from hundreds of protest groups with agendas as diverse as global warming to third world debt.

The German steps are intended to stop protesters from getting to Italy and next weeks G8 conference via Germany.

The federal border headquarters in Munich said that extra precautious were being taken on Germany's frontier with Switzerland and Austria.

Any travellers suspected of heading for Genoa to take part in violent protests will be barred from leaving the country, Reuters reported.

Italy has imposed similar border controls in an attempt to stop protesters entering the country.

The G8 - Group of Eight - is made up of the world's leading industrialised nations and Russia some of the world's most powerful figures, including U.S. President George W. Bush, will attend the summit.

The world economy is set to dominate the summit's agenda against a backdrop of fears that a slowdown could turn into a recession.

The G8 leaders will also look to providing extra help in alleviating the debt of the world's poorest countries, and to contributing towards the U.N. drive against infectious diseases such as AIDS, TB and malaria.






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